Capgemini women co-author report on digital skills for students

Capgemini women co-author report on digital skills for students

 July 21, 2023

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Capgemini women are often thought leaders in their respective work areas.

Capgemini Research Institute report on educators better supporting secondary students with digital skills so they're future-ready through their education, was co-authored by a number of Capgemini personnel including three Capgemini women:

  • Capgemini's Chief Corporate Responsibility Officer, Shobha Meera
  • Capgemini's Global Head of Digital Inclusion, Lucie Taurines
  • Capgemini Research Institute Director, Marisa Slatter, an expert in strategy and transformation

The Capgemini Research Institute report, Future-ready education: Empowering secondary school students with digital skills, explores the important topic of digital skills in secondary education. It's vital for students to acquire digital skills today and to know what can be done to better prepare them for a digital future.

Acquiring digital skills is a necessity

Capgemini Research Institute report

Today’s digital world, with its massive amounts of information and misinformation, requires an unprecedented level of fluidity from students.

Acquiring digital skills has become a necessity for everyone – but especially for students – who will be entering a workforce that has been fundamentally transformed by technology.

"Digital literacy is now a prerequisite for professionals of all types, who must be able to navigate and participate in the digital world and to parse out useful resources from a sea of irrelevant, biased, or even false information. However, our research reveals that secondary school students are not sufficiently confident in the digital skills required to thrive in the 21st century. What’s more, this trend is particularly pronounced in students from rural areas and low-income families, creating an inequitable skills gap among students," states Capgemini.

"Based on our findings, and considering today’s rapid pace of technological change, it’s clear that governments and educational systems around the world will need to do more to prepare their students for success in the digital era. To this end, we believe it will be vital for organizations to understand the current shortcomings in digital skills preparedness as well as the steps that can be taken to address them."

The report analyzes the different dimensions of digital skills proficiency, including students’ confidence in their skills, teachers’ perceptions of students’ abilities, and how digital skills impact readiness for the workforce. Capgemini also explores how the emerging area of generative AI may impact and disrupt education. Finally, Capgemini provides recommendations on the actions that can be taken to further support students in developing digital skills.

"Students must be able to distinguish fact from opinion, objectivity from bias, and honesty from insincerity in an online setting," states the report. "They must understand the risks of technology and the internet, and how to mitigate those risks. At the same time, the digital world requires them to have the soft skills of an adapter, a creator, a problem solver, and a critical thinker. As technology transforms every aspect of our lives, and the world is rapidly shaped by artificial intelligence (AI), students who are digital-, data-, and media-literate will have a significant advantage over their peers. Digital skills are now essential for all professions, from science and engineering to healthcare and finance, and even the arts. It is crucial that students learn digital skills, so they can compete in the job market and contribute positively to society and the economy. They also need digital skills to be savvy enough to recognize misinformation and not fall prey to the dangers of disinformation and fake news, which can imbue students with a distorted world view or mistrust of media."

Improving the confidence of students 

Looking at what action can be taken, the report suggests: "State and local governments, along with educators, and with the support of parents, can take further steps to improve students’ confidence in their digital skills and better prepare them for the workforce. These include mandating digital and media literacy as an educational requirement, sharing and mobilizing knowledge on digital skills, encouraging corporations to be part of the learning ecosystem, and engaging parents in meaningful ways to support digital skills learning."

Employability and empowerment of under-served communities

An expert in digital inclusion, Lucy comments: "I have worked closely with the social sector for years, with my focus trained on employability and empowerment of under-served communities. One of the key lessons I learnt through my experience is that technology is a powerful and indispensable tool for progress and development. In my current role as the Global Head of Digital Inclusion, I see to it that Capgemini continues to be a truly responsible company through real and positive impact on society. By sharing our skills, expertise and our vast network, we aim to strive for an inclusive and sustainable digital future. With the digital gap deepening in the society, the need of the hour is a strong ecosystem to support the synergy between business leaders and state/non-state actors working towards social development. As I work to create that strong ecosystem, my ultimate goal is to make Digital Inclusion an integral part of Capgemini's DNA and backbone. In the process and through powerful success stories, my ambition is to showcase to the world, the power of unexplored talent pools often ignored due to lack of representation."

Read the full report

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